Security Council SC/6987

2000 Round-up 12 January 2001

DEVELOPMENTS THROUGHOUT AFRICA, RENEWED VIOLENCE IN MIDDLE EAST AMONG KEY ISSUES FOR SECURITY COUNCIL IN 2000

Adopts Resolution on HIV/AIDS, Responds to Brahimi Report, Holds Debates on Women and Security, Children in Armed Conflict

Developments in Africa and renewed violence in the Middle East were among the major issues dealt with by the Security Council in 2000, as it pursued its mandate of securing, establishing and maintaining global peace and security. Also dominant on the Council s agenda this year, as in 1999, was the situation of Kosovo, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and East Timor.

The Council in the past year continued to demonstrate its willingness to hold open debates on a variety of subjects, including women and peacekeeping and children in armed conflict. Also of note was the Council s unprecedented adoption of a resolution on a health issue – HIV/AIDS – and its action related to the Brahimi Report on United Nations peace operations.

The African continent demanded considerable attention from the Council during the year. January was referred to as the “month of Africa”, with special interest paid during the month to Africa-related issues. Issues addressed in terms of threats to international peace and security included HIV/AIDS, arms, illicit trafficking in diamonds, intra- and inter-State conflicts, refugees and internally displaced persons.

Much of the Council’s deliberations on Africa were focused on two countries – Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It also devoted a number of meetings to the border conflict in Ethiopia and Eritrea, establishing the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) on 31 July.

The Council met three times to discuss the situation in the Middle East, from 3 to 5 October, after violence erupted following a visit to Al-Haram

Al-Sharif in Jerusalem on 28 September by Ariel Sharon, leader of Israel’s Likud Party. More than 40 speakers addressed the Council.

Following the debate, on 7 October the Council adopted resolution 1322 (2000) by 14 votes in favour to none against, with 1 abstention (United States). By the text, it deplored the provocation carried out at Al-Haram Al-Sharif, and subsequent violence there and throughout the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, which had resulted in more than 80 Palestinian deaths.

The year 2000 also saw the solidification of the presence of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), under the leadership of

Bernard Kouchner, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General. Despite continued ethnic violence and problems related to the return of refugees, the change in Government in Belgrade and the successful holding of municipal elections in Kosovo were among many positive developments.

In East Timor, despite setbacks during 2000, including continued militia-led violence, the deaths of United Nations peacekeepers and humanitarian workers and severe flooding that caused considerable death and displacement in refugee camps, Sergio Vieira de Mello, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Transitional Administrator, was able to report to the Council on 28 November that the security situation was stable and that the Territory was well advanced on the transition to independence.

On 24 and 25 October, the Council held a two-day open meeting to consider the issue of women and peace and security. During the discussion, an overwhelming number of speakers stressed the need to include women in every aspect of peace-building initiatives, specifically calling for their involvement in decision-making processes.

Speaking at a 26 July debate on the subject of children and armed conflict, Olara Otunnu, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for the issue, said the international community must do a lot more to provide education to war-affected children and to meet the special needs of the girl child and adolescents in the midst and aftermath of conflict. Over the past two years, a number of concrete commitments had been made concerning the protection of children. The challenge now was to ensure adherence.

On 17 July, the Council adopted resolution 1308 (2000), the first of its kind, urging Member States to consider voluntary HIV/AIDS testing and counselling for troops to be deployed in peacekeeping operations. It also expressed concern at the potentially damaging impact of HIV/AIDS on the health of international peacekeeping personnel, including support personnel.

Welcoming the report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, the “Brahimi Report”, and the report of the Secretary-General on its implementation, the Security Council – through the unanimous adoption of resolution 1327 (2000)– resolved on 13 November to give peacekeeping operations clear, credible and achievable mandates. The Panel, chaired by Lakhdar Brahimi of Algeria, issued its report on 21 August, and the Council established a working group to review the report s recommendations on 3 October.

Also during the year, the Council held open meetings on the situations in Angola, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Central African Republic, Guinea-Bissau, Israel/Lebanon, Israel/Syria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq, Afghanistan, Western Sahara, Georgia, Tajikistan, Haiti, Cyprus, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

Meetings were also held on:the International Criminal Tribunals; conflict prevention; disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants; exit strategies for peacekeeping operations; humanitarian aspects of issues before the Council; violence against humanitarian personnel; protection of civilians in conflict; terrorism; and United Nations sanctions.

During 2000, the Council also heard a final briefing by the outgoing United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadako Ogata, and held a high-level meeting in the context of the Millennium Summit.

Following are summaries of Council activity in 2000.

Africa

Angola

On 18 January, the Council held an open briefing on the situation in Angola, Africa’s longest running civil war.

The Government of Angola and the opposition force, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), have been engaged in an intermittent, devastating civil war since the country s independence in 1975. Over the years, the United Nations has been actively involved in efforts to find a solution, including through the establishment of four successive peacekeeping missions. However, despite all efforts to restore peace, the situation deteriorated again in May 1998 when UNITA refused to proceed with the implementation of the peace agreements, which had been signed in Lusaka, Zambia, in 1994. In January 1999, the Secretary-General concluded that the Angolan peace process had collapsed. The Angolan Government had informed the Organization that it did not intend to support extension of the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Angola (MONUA) beyond

26 February 1999.

During the 18 January briefing, most speakers blamed the protracted conflict in the country on the activities of UNITA. Georges Chicoti, Vice-Minister of External Relations of Angola, asked if a double standard and a dangerous precedent were being set by allowing that organization’s leader, Jonas Savimbi, to continue to kill people for so many years without indicting him for his crimes . He added that, despite several resolutions that applied sanctions on Mr. Savimbi and his followers, many countries and institutions continued to break them, allowing UNITA to acquire new, sophisticated weapons.

Canada s representative, then Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 864 (1993) concerning the situation in Angola, said that his visit to the country the week before had demonstrated that sanctions were impeding UNITA s ability to transport fuel and arms throughout the country and were reducing the number of parties ready to offer it support. While it was premature to suggest that the war was at an end in Angola, it was beginning to approach it.

The Council was also informed by the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Kieran Prendergast, who introduced the Secretary-General’s report on developments in Angola since October 1999, that the new United Nations Office in that country would continue to assist the Government and civil organizations in the areas of capacity-building, humanitarian assistance and the promotion of human rights.

On 13 April, as it unanimously adopted resolution 1294 (2000), The Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Office in Angola (UNOA) for a further six months until 15 October. On 18 April, acting under the enforcement provisions of Chapter VII of the Charter, the Council unanimously voted to tighten its sanctions against UNITA and undertook to consider additional measures — use of armed force not included — to make them more effective.

By the terms of resolution 1295 (2000), introduced by the President and Chairman of the Sanctions Committee, Robert Fowler (Canada), the Council asked the Secretary-General to establish a monitoring mechanism which would be composed of five experts, for a period of six months. Their tasks would be to collect relevant information, investigate relevant leads and verify information provided by all sources concerning violations of the Council s three previous sanctions resolutions on UNITA.

The Council expressed its intention to review the implementation of its three previous resolutions on UNITA on the basis of information provided by the panel of experts, by States, and by the monitoring mechanism established by the present resolution. Further, it undertook to consider the application of additional measures against UNITA and the development of additional tools to render the existing sanctions more effective.

The resolution covered such areas as the trade in arms, the trade in petroleum and related products, the trade in diamonds, funds and financial measures, and travel and representation. The Council further urged all States, including those close to Angola, to take immediate steps to enforce, strengthen or enact legislation making it a criminal offence under domestic law for their nationals or other individuals operating on their territory to violate the measures imposed by the Council against UNITA.

On 27 July, in an open debate on Angola, Ibrahim Gambari, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa, told the Council that the Angolan President, Jos Eduardo dos Santos, had indicated a willingness to pardon Jonas Savimbi and his followers, which was a welcome development. To give peace a chance would require increased efforts in the political, social and economic spheres, as well as a spirit of reconciliation by all Angolans. Introducing the Secretary-General’s report on the UNOA, he said the fact that UNITA bore the primary responsibility for the return to war in Angola must be reaffirmed. The rebel group s failure to live up to peace agreements was the primary reason for the renewed violence and continuation of the country’s civil war. The Council had exposed the weaknesses in implementing sanctions imposed against UNITA and had named the alleged sanctions violators. States must avoid actions that would facilitate the continuation of war.

Also addressing the Council, Albino Malungo, Angola’s Minister for Social Assistance, stressed that the Lusaka agreement had never been implemented in its totality, as Mr. Savimbi had rejected its crucial provisions. In 1998, the UNITA leader had once again undertaken force to achieve power. Sadly, he noted, the rearming of UNITA had taken place with the open support of a number of countries and leaders, including Africans. Not all voices had condemned Mr. Savimbi s actions or taken steps to pressure him into abandoning his war plans.

The Angolan Government had been forced to adopt political and military measures to contain UNITA, an objective that had been achieved, he said. UNITA s conventional war capacity had been destroyed and no longer constituted an immediate threat to the Government. More than 92 per cent of Angolan territory was now under the control of legal authorities, he went on. Angola urged the international community to continue to apply pressure through sanctions against those who rejected the peace agreement.

Sierra Leone

The conflict in Sierra Leone dates from March 1991 when fighters of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) launched a war from the east of the country near the border with Liberia to overthrow the government. On 22 October 1999, Council resolution 1270 (1999) established the United Nations Mission for Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) to aid with implementation of the Lom (Togo) Peace Agreement, which was signed on 7 July 1999 between the Government of Sierra Leone and the RUF.

The Council first met this year on Sierra Leone on 7 February when Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations H di Annabi, in a briefing, told members that it was important to impress on all parties the need to implement the Lom Agreement and to fulfil their commitments under that Agreement. Observing that there had been several incidents last month in which the troops of UNAMSIL had been confronted by rebel troops and had not responded satisfactorily, he stressed the need to apply the Mission’s rules of engagement strictly.

In his review of the security situation in Sierra Leone, he stated there was still an apparent ambivalence on the part of rebel commanders regarding the implementation of the Lom Agreement. He noted that in places outside of Freetown and Lungi, which remained relatively stable, there had been an increase in rebel activity. He also drew attention to the delay in humanitarian activities caused by continued harassment of humanitarian workers.

In a meeting following Mr. Annabi’s briefing, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1289 (2000), and expanded the military component of UNAMSIL to a maximum of 11,100, which included the 260 military observers already deployed. It also extended UNAMSIL s mandate for a further six months from 7 February.

The Council further decided to revise UNAMSIL s mandate to include the following additional tasks:provide security at key locations and government buildings; facilitate the free flow of people, goods and humanitarian assistance along specified thoroughfares; provide security in and at all sites of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programme; coordinate withand assist, in common areas of deployment, the Sierra Leone law enforcement authorities in the discharge of their responsibilities; and guard weapons, ammunition and other military equipment collected from ex-combatants and to assist in their subsequent disposal or destruction.

The Council also took note of recommendations by the Secretary- General on the need for robust new rules of engagement in the light of UNAMSIL s new tasks and authorized UNAMSIL to take the necessary action to fulfil its additional tasks. That included ensuring the security and freedom of movement of its personnel and providing protection to civilians – in its areas of deployment — under imminent threat of physical violence, taking into account the responsibilities of the Government of Sierra Leone.

On 13 March, Mr. Annabi again briefed the Council and told them that the main steps to be taken in Sierra Leone should include the early DDR of all ex-combatants; the extension of State authority countrywide; national reconciliation and democratization; and improvement of the country’s capacity to ensure its own security. Such steps would require a sustained commitment by all concerned, as well as significant material and financial resources.

The representative of the United Kingdom, describing his recent visit to Sierra Leone, said the DDR process was being obstructed by the lack of commitment to peace from the main factional leaders, particularly RUF leader Foday Sankoh. Furthermore, the Council should be aware that the deployment of UNAMSIL had not been fully successful. He stressed that the Council should carefully monitor the transition from the Economic Community of West African States’ Monitoring Observer Group (ECOMOG) presence in the country to UNAMSIL and insist on bringing the Mission up to full strength, in quality as well as quantity.

On 4 May, the Council met again on Sierra Leone and issued a presidential statement. The Council condemned in the strongest terms the armed attacks perpetrated by the RUF against the forces of UNAMSIL, and their continued detention of a large number of United Nations and other international personnel. The Council also expressed its outrage at the killing of a number of United Nations peacekeepers of the Kenyan battalion.

On 11 May, in a late-night session, convened at request of the AfricanGroup of States, Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the Council that UNAMSIL was configured as a peacekeeping force, and not designed or equipped for an enforcement operation. It had been attacked by one of the parties that had pledged cooperation, before it was properly deployed. He demanded the immediate and unconditional release of all United Nations personnel, warning that the leader of the RUF would be held accountable for the Force’s actions and for the safety and well-being of all those detained. The United Nations had made a commitment to the people of Sierra Leone, and he pleaded with the Council not to fail them, and Africa.

On 19 May, the Council, unanimously adopting resolution 1299 (2000), once more expanded the military component of UNAMSIL to a maximum of 13,000 military personnel, convinced that the deterioration in security conditions on the ground necessitated the Mission’s rapid reinforcement.

On 5 July, the Council, concerned at the role played by the illicit trade in diamonds in fuelling the conflict in Sierra Leone, adopted resolution 1306 (2000) by a vote of 14 in favour to none against, with one abstention (Mali), and imposed a prohibition on the import of rough diamonds from Sierra Leone. The ban would be initially reviewed after 18 months.

It exempted imports of rough diamonds whose origin was certified by the Government of Sierra Leone. The diamond industry was also called upon to cooperate with the ban. Following the 18-month review, the Council would decide whether to extend the prohibition for a further period and, if necessary, modify it or adopt further measures. The two-part resolution also asked the Secretary-General to appoint a panel of five experts to monitor implementation of the ban.

On 17 July, in a statement read out by its President, the Council expressed full support for the weekend rescue, ordered by the Secretary-General, of more than 200 peacekeepers by UNAMSIL at Kailahun, in the eastern part of Sierra Leone.

On 4 August, as the Council met again on Sierra Leone, it extended UNAMSIL until 8 September and expressed its intention to strengthen the Mission’s mandate, structure and resources, so that the peacekeepers could respond more decisively and robustly to attacks by the RUF. It took that action as it unanimously adopted resolution 1313 (2000). It asked the Secretary-General to report to it as soon as possible with recommendations for restructuring and strengthening the Mission, and expressed its intention to take a decision on those recommendations expeditiously.

On 14 August, the Council asked the Secretary-General to negotiate an agreement with the Government of Sierra Leone to create an independent special court, consistent with resolution 1315 (2000), which it had just unanimously adopted, jurisdiction of which should include crimes against humanity, war crimes and other serious violations of international humanitarian law. That jurisdiction should also include crimes committed in Sierra Leone under that country’s national law.

The Council met several times throughout the remainder of the year in order to extend UNAMSIL s mandate, which is now in force until 31 March 2001.

During that same period, the Council, in a 3 November presidential statement, condemned the continued cross-border attacks along the border area of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. It stressed that only through a comprehensive regional approach could security and stability be restored. It was, further, convinced that the continuation of a credible military presence of the international community in Sierra Leone was still an indispensable element of the peace process. It also reiterated its firm intention to take action to strengthen UNAMSIL at the appropriate time, taking into account the readiness of troop contributors to provide sufficient forces.

The Council underlined:the importance of the RUF relinquishing control of the diamond-producing areas in Sierra Leone; full freedom of movement for UNAMSIL leading to its deployment countrywide; proper provisions for the disarmament and demobilization of all non-governmental forces; full and secure humanitarian access; and the extension of the Government throughout its territory.

On 21 December, in another presidential statement, the Council condemned, in the strongest terms, the recent incursions into Guinea by rebel groups from Liberia and Sierra Leone that had affected villages and towns along the entire length of Guinea s border.

Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo was ruled from 1965 by Mobutu S s S ko (who named the country Zaire). His rule did not weaken until the 1990s, when a number of circumstances — domestic protests, international criticism of his human rights record, and spillover from the neighbouring Rwanda war — resulted in a coalition of various opposition groups. The Alliance des forces d mocratiques pour la lib ration du Congo-Za re (AFDL), supported by several countries and led by the current President, Laurent-Desire Kabila, succeeded in ousting Mobutu in May 1997. Mr. Kabila named himself president, consolidated power around himself and the AFDL, and renamed the country the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In August 1998, in an attempt to stabilize the country and consolidate his control, President Kabila expelled the Rwandan troops remaining in the country after his 1997 victory. That prompted army mutinies in the capital Kinshasa and the Kivu provinces in the east. Although the Kinshasa mutiny was put down, the mutiny in the Kivus continued and mushroomed into a drive to topple the Government. Opposing the Kabila Government were factions of the Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD), supported by Rwanda, and Uganda. The Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), another rebel group, emerged later. Defending the Kabila Government were the former Rwandan army (ex-FAR)/Interahamwe militia. President Kabila is also supported by Angola, Namibia, Chad, Zimbabwe, and the Congolese army.

On 10 July 1999 in Lusaka, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, along with Angola, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe, signed the Ceasefire Agreement for a cessation of hostilities between all belligerent forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The MLC also signed the Agreement on 1 August. The Lusaka peace accord calls for a ceasefire, an international peacekeeping operation, and the beginning of a “national dialogue” on the future of the country.

To maintain liaison with the parties and carry out other tasks, the Council set up the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) on 30 November 1999, incorporating United Nations personnel authorized in earlier resolutions.

In its first meeting this year on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on 24 January, seven African heads of State addressed the Council in a day-long session.

Nine government ministers; the Secretaries-General of the United Nations and Organization of African Unity (OAU); and the facilitator of the inter-Congolese dialogue envisioned by the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, former President of Botswana, Sir Ketumile Masire, also made statements to the Council.

Speakers stressed the need for resolute international support for the Lusaka peace process and for speedy establishment of a United Nations peacekeeping mission in that country. Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the Council that, to make the difference in the Democratic Republic and avoid the wrong turns that had led to tragedies elsewhere, the United Nations must not only be ready to act, but act in a way that was commensurate with the gravity of the situation.

Laurent-Desire Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said the Peace Agreement was not working and peace had not been achieved. The Agreement had failed in its objectives, for it could not restore peace without an immediate and complete ceasefire. Pasteur Bizimungu, President of Rwanda, warned against the tendency to praise the Lusaka Agreement so much that the important matter of implementation was forgotten.

On 26 January, the Council, in a presidential statement, expressed its determination to support implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement. It also expressed its determination to act promptly along the lines recommended by the Secretary-General in his report.

On 24 February, the Council, by unanimously adopting resolution 1291 (2000), extended the mandate of MONUC to 31 August and authorized an expansion of up to 5,537 military personnel, including up to 500 observers, or more, provided that the Secretary-General determined that there was a need and that it could be accommodated within the overall force size and structure. The Council also decided that MONUC, under a newly established joint structure with the Joint Military Commission, which was created under the Ceasefire Agreement, might take actions to protect United Nations and co-located Joint Military Commission personnel, facilities, installations and equipment; ensure the security and freedom of movement of its personnel; and protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence.

On 5 May, the Council, in a presidential statement, demanded the immediate cessation of hostilities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Council formally endorsed the statement made by its members on mission in Kinshasa calling for an immediate halt to the fighting. The Council unreservedly condemned the outbreak of military hostilities in Kisangani, which began on 5 May, and which threatened the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement. It also expressed concern about reported killing of innocent Congolese civilians.

On 17 May, the Council heard 27 speakers in an open briefing on its 4 to

8 May mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The mission also visited Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Uganda.

Presenting the mission s report, the representative of the United States, who had headed the Council delegation, said every meeting during the visit had seen an endorsement of the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement. The people sought peace and the withdrawal of outside forces, and they wanted the rebel movements to lay down their arms. They also wanted the Government to engage in a national dialogue, and aspired to live in a State built on democratic institutions. Everything about the mission had been designed to bring the process of that dialogue forward, he said, stressing that there was no military solution to the conflict.

The representative of the Democratic Republic of the Congo said the members of the Council mission had been eyewitnesses to the deep desire for peace of his country s people. Throughout the entire territory, children, fathers and mothers were demanding an end to the unspeakable suffering which had been their daily plight since 2 August 1998. He called on the international community to use all means to put an end to the war once and for all.

Many representatives also stressed that phase II of MONUC must be deployed as soon as possible.

On 2 June, in a presidential statement, the Council requested the Secretary-General to establish, for a period of six months, an expert panel on the illegal exploitation of natural resources and other forms of wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The mandate of the panel should include:collection of information on all activities on illegal exploitation of natural resources and other forms of wealth in the country, including those that violated that country’s sovereignty; and research on and analysis of the links between such exploitation and the continuation of the conflict.

On 15 June, the Council met again on the situation. The President of the Council said continuing hostilities in the Equateur and Kasai provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, uninterrupted violence in Kivu and heavy fighting between foreign armies in the city of Kisangani were among the key elements of the crisis. He told the meeting, attended by the Secretary-General, as well as the Political Committee formed following the signing of the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, that the process of reconciliation among the Congolese parties to the conflict remained blocked, with the Government having renounced the neutral facilitator selected by the parties and the OAU.

He added there was also hostility to the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). Furthermore, the resumption of hostilities in Kisangani between Rwanda and Uganda had drastically aggravated the situation and seemed to toll the bell for the Lusaka accord. It was unjustifiable for two foreign armies to be fighting on the soil of a third country. The presence in the country of the Rwandan and Ugandan forces was becoming a major source of insecurity.

The Council, meeting again on 16 June, demanded that Ugandan and Rwandan forces, as well as those of the Congolese opposition and other armed groups, withdraw immediately and completely from the city of Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It took that action as it unanimously adopted resolution 1304 (2000). The Council called on all parties to the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement of 10 July 1999 to respect the demilitarization of Kisangani and the city’s environs.

The Council also demanded that Uganda and Rwanda withdraw all their troops from the country’s territory without further delay; and that all other foreign military presences and activity in Congolese territory be brought to an end in conformity with the Ceasefire Agreement.

On 23 August, the Council extended the mandate of MONUC until 15 October, unanimously adopted resolution 1316 (2000). It emphasized that the technical extension of the Mission was designed to allow time for further diplomatic activities in support of the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, and for Council reflection on MONUC’s future mandate and possible adjustments to it.

On 13 October, the Council once again extended the mandate of MONUC until15 December 2000, as it unanimously adopted resolution 1323 (2000). Canada s representative told the Council that the parties to the conflict, through their unwillingness to commit fully to the peace process, were threatening investments in the peace process by the international community. If they did not desist from such a destructive approach, the Council would need to re-examine whether MONUC, as it was presently conceived, was the appropriate instrument for helping to stabilize the situation.

On 28 November, the Council was briefed on the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by Carolyn McAskie, Emergency Relief Coordinator a. i. , Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. She said that so far all diplomatic and military efforts to end what had been described as Africa s first world war had not produced results. The humanitarian situation continued to deteriorate. United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations had been forced to suspend activities due to insecure conditions. She added that in the three years of civil war, the number of those affected by conflict had soared to 16 million people. Flagrant human rights violations prevailed throughout the country, and civilians were afforded little or no protection and systematically targeted by the parties to the conflict.

On 14 December, the Council once again extended the mandate of MONUC, until 15 June 2001, unanimously adopting resolution 1332 (2000).

The Council endorsed the Secretary-General’s proposal to deploy additional military observers to monitor and verify the parties’ implementation of the ceasefire and disengagement plans adopted in Maputo and Lusaka. It also expressed its readiness to support the Secretary-General in the deployment of infantry units in support of the military observers in Kisangani and Mbandaka and, subject to his proposals on ways to address the situation in the country’s eastern provinces, to other areas, including Goma and Bukavu.

In addition, the Council asked the Secretary-General to submit detailed proposals on the establishment of a permanent follow-up mechanism which could address the full withdrawal of foreign forces, the disarmament and demobilization of armed groups, the security of the country’s borders with Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi, the return of refugees and internally displaced persons in safety, the inter-Congolese dialogue and regional economic reconstruction and cooperation. The Council called for the withdrawal of Ugandan and Rwandan, and all other foreign forces, from the country in compliance with resolution 1304 (2000) and the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement.

The Council also called on all parties to the conflict to cooperate in taking forward DDR, repatriation/settlement of all armed groups referred to in the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement.

Ethiopia and Eritrea

Fighting between Ethiopia and Eritrea erupted in May 1998, as a result of a border dispute.

The Council first met on the situation in Ethiopia and Eritrea this year on 12 May, unanimously adopting resolution 1297(2000) and demanding that the two countries immediately cease all military actions and refrain from further use of force. The Council also resolved to meet again within 72 hours, to take immediate steps to ensure compliance with the resolution in the event that hostilities continued.

On 17 May, following the elapse of the 72-hour deadline, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1298 (2000), by whose terms it strongly condemned the continued fighting and demanded that both parties immediately cease all military action and refrain from the further use of force.

The Council further demanded that both parties withdraw their forces from military engagement and take no action that would aggravate tensions. It also demanded the earliest possible reconvening, without preconditions, of substantive peace talks, under OAU auspices. It also asked that the current Chairman of the OAU consider dispatching urgently his personal envoy to the region to seek immediate cessation of hostilities and resumption of peace talks.

The Council also decided to prevent the sale or supply of arms and related mat riel to Ethiopia and Eritrea, as well as technical assistance and training related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of arms or related mat riel. The Council also decided that such measures should be terminated immediately if the Secretary-General reports that a peaceful definitive settlement of the conflict has been concluded.

On 18 June, Ethiopia and Eritrea signed the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, following proximity talks led by Algeria and the OAU. On 31 July, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1312 (2000) and established the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), consisting of up to 100 military observers and the necessary civilian support staff, in anticipation of a peacekeeping operation subject to future authorization. The Mission will remain in the area until 31 January 2001.

The Mission s mandate will be to:establish and maintain liaison with the parties; visit the parties military headquarters and other units in all areas of operation of the Mission deemed necessary by the Secretary-General; establish and put into operation the mechanism for verifying the cessation of hostilities; prepare for the establishment of the Military Coordination Commission provided for in the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement: and assist in planning for a future peacekeeping operation, if necessary. The Council also stressed the importance of the rapid delimitation and demarcation of the common border between Ethiopia and Eritrea, in accordance with the OAU Framework Agreement and the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement.

On 14 August, the Council was briefed by the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Bernard Miyet, on the situation in Ethiopia and Eritrea, who also introduced the latest report of the Secretary-General on the issue.

On 15 September, the Council, by unanimously adopting resolution 1320 (2000), authorized the deployment of up to 4,200 troops, including 220 military observers, for UNMEE. It also mandated the Mission until March 2001. The Mission was mandated, among others, to monitor the cessation of hostilities; assist in the observance of the security commitments agreed by the parties to the conflict; monitor and verify the redeployment of Ethiopian troops; and simultaneously monitor the positions of Eritrean forces that were to be redeployed. Both parties were also called on to continue negotiations and conclude without delay a comprehensive and final peace settlement.

As the Council once more reviewed the situation in Ethiopian and Eritrea on 17 November, the Secretary-General told members that UNMEE held great promise for the countries and peoples involved, for Africa, and for peacekeeping in general. We must get it right , he stressed.

He said the beginning of any mission was a very sensitive time. The steps taken by the Organization sent signals about our intentions, our effectiveness and, most of all, our resolve . At the same time, the steps taken by the parties to the conflict also offered indications about their willingness to cooperate, and about the level of trust and political will.

We have entered a period of higher stakes and intensified scrutiny of our actions , he said. The people of Eritrea and Ethiopia, and many others beyond their borders, are counting on us to help. Together, let us rise to this challenge.

Jozias van Aartsen, President of the Council and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, speaking in his national capacity, said that to give impetus to the peace process, he had proposed the establishment of a Group of Friends of the Peace Process. To help remedy the deep distrust between the two States, he had proposed five confidence-building measures. Agreement to those measures would give the international community more confidence that the peace process was being taken seriously. The measures would also have a positive effect on the renewal of UNMEE s mandate, which was dependent on progress in the negotiations, and would begin to dispel mutual distrust.

In a presidential statement on 21 November, the Council emphasized that the deployment of UNMEE should contribute to a positive climate for negotiations and not replace the need for a final and comprehensive settlement. The Council also underlined the important role which confidence-building measures could play in dispelling the remaining distrust between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and encouraged both States to agree on the package of such measures. In particular, it encouraged the parties to agree on the immediate release and voluntary return of interned civilians under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). It also encouraged the opening of land and air corridors for UNMEE; an exchange of maps showing mined areas; the prompt release of prisoners of war and their return under the auspices of the ICRC; and a moratorium on expulsions. The Council further underlined the importance of the full compliance of Member States with the arms embargo imposed by resolution 1298 (2000).

Rwanda

On 14 April, the Chairman of the Independent Inquiry into United Nations actions during the 1994 Rwanda genocide, Ingvar Carlsson, presented his report to the Security Council (document S/1999/1257), saying the Council had the power to have prevented at least some of the Rwandan tragedy, and could act to ensure that such a tragedy did not happen again. He described the lack of political will to act in the face of crises as the most dangerous obstacle to United Nations work for the maintenance of peace.

The Council’s decision to reduce the strength of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) after the genocide started, and despite its knowledge of the atrocities, was the cause of much bitterness in Rwanda, he continued. In future, the Secretariat must tell the Council exactly what was needed, and the Council must ensure that short-term financial constraints did not prevent effective action. The Council must give missions the mandate they needed, mobilize the necessary troops and resources, and accept its responsibility, irrespective of where problems occurred.

The Foreign Minister of Canada, Lloyd Axworthy, told the Council that the best way to honour the victims of the Rwandan tragedy was through a firm commitment never to turn away from civilians victimized by armed conflict again. Such civilians must be protected in both word and deed. The Rwanda tragedy had almost extinguished belief in the United Nations’ capacity to fulfil the purposes for which it was founded. No one in the Council Chamber could look back at the genocide and not feel remorse and sadness at the international community’s abject failure to help the people of Rwanda.

Burundi

On 19 January, the Council was briefed on the situation in Burundi by former South African President Nelson Mandela, Facilitator of the peace process in that country. Following Mr. Mandela s briefing, the Council, unanimously adopting resolution 1286 (2000), reiterated its strong support for the renewed Arusha peace process and called on all parties to the conflict in Burundi to fully cooperate with the new Facilitator — a successor to the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere — and to build an internal political partnership in the country.

When he addressed the Council, Mr. Mandela said that the real challenge facing Burundians was that of creating a form of democracy that would provide for an accountable and responsive government and ensure security for the vulnerable. The population of Burundi was being held hostage to violence from all sides in the conflict. As a result, new waves of refugees were fleeing the country, and people were becoming increasingly displaced in their own country.

Prior to Mr. Mandela s briefing, Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the Council that no party could escape its share of responsibility for the escalating violence, or for the lack of progress towards a political solution. He strongly urged all parties to the conflict to cooperate with Mr. Mandela in seeking such a solution.

The Minister for External Affairs and Cooperation of Burundi, Severin Ntahomvukiye, said that there were neither massacres nor a widespread national catastrophe in his country. The Government had taken special measures and had established sites for the protection of people, called regroupment camps. Rejecting statements that those camps were part of a policy of ethnic cleansing, he said that such allegations constituted propaganda and misinformation. All the Government was doing was ensuring security and simply preventing people from being crushed.

On 29 September, the Council was again briefed by Mr. Mandela. He said there could be no justification for continued violent attacks on the civilian population in Burundi when a comprehensive political agreement had been reached and the way opened for all to bring their concerns to the political table. He called on the rebel groups in Burundi to demonstrate the quality of their leadership, announce a ceasefire and halt the slaughter of innocents.

Following President Mandela s briefing, the Council condemned all attacks on civilian populations in Burundi. In a statement read out by its President, the Council expressed its concern at the continuing level of violence in Burundi, in particular, that perpetrated by rebel groups despite the call to them for direct negotiations with the Burundian Government.

Somalia

Under-Secretary-General Kieran Prendergast told the Security Council on

29 June that it must not fall prey to cynicism and despair and give up on Somalia , as he briefed the Council on the political, security and humanitarian situation there. On the contrary, he added, it should give renewed support to the Somali National Peace Conference currently under way in Djibouti.

Following Mr. Prendergast s briefing, the Council, in a statement read out by its President, strongly condemned attacks by armed groups on innocent civilians and all humanitarian personnel in Somalia. It strongly urged the Somali factions to respect international humanitarian and human rights law, to ensure the safety and freedom of movement of all humanitarian personnel, and to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian relief to all those in need.

Central African Republic

On 10 February, the Council welcomed a decision by the Secretary- General to establish a United Nations Peace-Building Office in the Central African Republic (BONUCA), for one year, beginning 15 February. In a statement read out by its President, the Council encouraged the authorities of the Central African Republic, which had accepted the proposal, and BONUCA to work closely together.

The Council noted with satisfaction that the principal mission of BONUCA, which will be headed by a representative of the Secretary-General, would be to support the Government s efforts to consolidate peace and national reconciliation, strengthen democratic institutions, and facilitate the mobilization at the international level of political support and resources for national reconstruction and economic recovery in the country.

On 15 February, the mandate of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (MINURCA), which was established with effect from 15 April 1998 by Security Council resolution 1159 of 27 March 1998, expired. The MINURCA originally replaced an inter-African force, which was founded on 31 January 1997 by the heads of State of Gabon, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali to monitor the implementation of the Bangui Agreements.

Guinea-Bissau

On 29 March, the Council took up the situation in Guinea-Bissau, issuing a presidential statement expressing support for the country s newly elected Government and encouraging the new authorities to develop and implement programmes devised to consolidate peace and national reconciliation. The Council paid tribute to the people of Guinea-Bissau for the success of the transitional process, which had led to the organization of free, fair and transparent elections.

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